Chief of Naval Operations talks about future of Navy

Adm. Johnathan Greenert visits local Navy bases, talks with sailors

By Chris Parenteau - Reporter , Nick Jones - Producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As talks of military budget cuts begin again, the Chief of Naval Operations visited two local Navy bases Tuesday to answer questions from sailors.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Johnathan Greenert began at Naval Station Kings Bay, then stopped at Naval Station Mayport to talk about the future of the Navy.

Most of what the sailors were curious about dealt with pay and benefits including cuts to the tuition assistance program. Greenert said he is working to change those cuts so the program covers 100 percent again in 2015.

The Littoral Combat Ship program was also brought up and sailors wanted to know if cuts could have an impact at Mayport. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently announced a plan to reduce the number of Littoral Combat Ships the Navy will purchase by 20 ships.

Greenert, however, said the first 32 ships in the proposed 52-ship program will still go out as planned and some will be heading to Mayport.

"We have every intention of bringing the ships here (Mayport)," said Adm. Johnathan Greenert, chief of Naval operations. "At least the first three, four, five, whatever it turns out to be. The decision by Secretary Hagel, and his assignment to us, was to take a look once we get to 32 and complete that contract. So we're on track with that."

Greenert also spoke about a potential base realignment or closing at Naval Station Mayport. He said that the Navy isn't seeking one, but if one was requested, they would follow along with the proposal.

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